Morley Piper, 1925-2022

Jun 1, 2022

On Thursday, May 12, 2022, Morley Piper passed away at 97 years young.

Piper devoted more than 60 years of his life to the newspaper industry, including 12 years at the Boston Globe, 45 years as the executive director of the New England Newspaper Association, and 22 years serving as clerk of the Newspaper Association Managers.

He made significant contributions to the industry, providing wise counsel and inspiration to several generations of newspaper staff and executives in New England and across the country.

Piper received many awards for his devotion to the industry, including the prestigious Yankee Quill award, and he was a member of the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.

“Like so many of you, I had great respect and affection for Morley, and I will miss him and his quick wit,” Linda Conway, executive director, New England Newspaper and Press Association, wrote in an email.

“I reached out to just a few of our mutual friends and asked them to share a thought or two about Morley:

“Everyone looked to Morley: to learn, to ask, to share, to find,” George Geers, longtime newspaper and publishing executive, said. “He knew everyone and everything. He was the first one to call with news. ‘What do you hear,’ he'd ask. Morley Piper was the first and only executive director of the New England Newspaper Association. When its editorial committee was formed, Bill Breisky of the Cape Cod Times was the named chair. I was on the committee. His strength was finding key people to guide the committees and organizations under NENA's umbrella — production, advertising, operations, circulation. He had a talented and dedicated crew in the office and in the association for the duration. 

Geers continued, "NENA was a national presence under Morley, who headed up the association of national newspaper managers. I worked as NENA's editor the last few years of its life. New England newspaper execs could always rely on 'mlp' (as he signed his memos) to lead them to fill a top spot, get out of a jam or to run tons of workshops and seminars.

"He was a good guy. I am indebted. New England newspapers have much to remember and thank him for." 

"I am deeply saddened to learn of Morley’s death," Bob Ambrogi, executive director, Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, said. "When I first started as executive director of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, Morley was a mentor to me and a source of ongoing encouragement as I learned the ropes. He seemed to know literally everyone in the newspaper industry and everything that was going on. He also brought me into the national organization of press association managers, Newspaper Association Managers – an organization he ran for many years and that has been invaluable to me in learning the ropes of advocating on behalf of newspapers. In recent years, Morley and I were regulars with a group of North of Boston current and former newspaper publishers and editors who occasionally met to share lunch and swap stories. As a matter of fact, just last week, he and I spoke and he was looking forward to our next lunch. I am heartbroken that his seat will be empty." 

"Morley was one of a kind," Mike Donoghue, executive director, Vermont Press Association, said. "He loved newspapers and anybody working in them.  Morley helped me as I took on running the Vermont Press Association as a hobby on the side. He would check in all the time looking for news for the old NENA Bulletin. I always enjoyed catching up with Morley at the Yankee Quill selection meeting each June, or at a NENPA event.  Morley remained true to our profession until the end."

"There are no immediate plans for services to honor Morley, but I hope you’ll all raise a toast to him," Conway said. "I’ll sign off the way Morley signed all his notes to me: Don’t volunteer for anything."